Juno — a spinning solar-powered spacecraft — launched on Aug. 5, 2011, from Cape Canaveral in Florida and entered Jupiter’s orbit in July 2016. The probe is scheduled to make 37 orbits over 20 months before the mission ends.
Jupiter has giant storms and cyclones.
There are massive storms and cyclones located at Jupiter’s poles. The “Earth-sized cyclones” are “densely clustered and rubbing together,” with cyclones reaching up to 1400 km in diameter and 96 km tall — much larger than any cyclone found on Earth.
The JunoCam managed to capture images from the poles. The image of Jupiter’s south pole, taken from an altitude of 51,500 km shows cyclones as oval shapes. The image was created by combining photos from three separate orbits so that all areas could be portrayed in daylight.
“We’re puzzled as to how they could be formed, how stable the configuration is and why Jupiter’s north pole doesn’t look like the south pole,” Bolton said in a NASA statement. “We’re questioning whether this is a dynamic system, and are we seeing just one stage, and over the next year, we’re going to watch it disappear, or is this a stable configuration and these storms are circulating around one another?”